I should eat more oatmeal. It lowers bad cholesterol, it’s a good source of fiber, and it helps regulate blood sugar. One only has to enter oatmeal into your search engine to find that it has a cult-like following. Overnight oats, in which oatmeal soaks over night in milk or yogurt with healthy toppings like chia, flax and berries, is especially popular with bloggers and healthy eaters. I admire the commitment, but I much prefer to wake up to a bagel slathered with cream cheese.
Despite the fact that the chances of me eating oatmeal on a regular basis are about as high as me actually working on my abs at the gym (is there any exercise more unpleasant than a crunch?), intentions are a powerful thing and I always seem to have oats in my pantry.
This summer I stumbled on a recipe for “Baked Oatmeal” from Heidi Swanson’s cookbook Super Natural Every Day. I had friends coming over for a run followed by brunch and this dish was a hit with blueberries, bananas, milk and maple syrup dressing up plain old oats into something worthy of company.
With apple season in full swing and a waistline that suggests that maybe there is such a thing as too many bagels, it seemed like the right time for some good intentions. This recipe for Baked Oatmeal with Apple, Pear and Pecans is the result. It’s an easy breakfast for a crowd and is a nice addition to a brunch buffet. You can eat it plain, but I found that a healthy drizzle of maple syrup (so much for good intentions) makes it plate scraping good. Happy baking!
Baked Oatmeal with Apple, Pear and Pecans – Printer Friendly Recipe
Inspired by Heidi Swanson’s recipe for “Baked Oatmeal”
in Super Natural Every Day
Serves 6 people
Feel free to use a red baking apple like Jonagold or Rome Beauty in place of the pear.
1 large (about 8 ounces) Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
1 large (about 8 ounces) Bosc pear, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted and chopped
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups milk
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For serving: maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 375 F degrees.
Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the chopped apple and pear and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and continue to cook, stirring as needed, until sugar completely dissolves and begins to bubble. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, pecan pieces, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice and salt. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla extract. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and whisk it into the milk mixture.
Distribute the oat mixture evenly over the sautéed apples and pears – do not stir. Pour the milk mixture over the oat mixture.
Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and the oatmeal is set. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve drizzled with maple syrup.